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Equine Therapy for Addiction in Miami

Man’s relationship to horses dates back over 30,000 years. They can be seen depicted in some of the earliest known cave drawings, representing their hallowed place in the history of humanity. Horses have seen the tide of everything that our species has ever accomplished. They were present in our earliest battles, they helped build our ancient wonders, they tilled our fields allowing us to eat, and gave us the ability to traverse vast spaces. There is not much that they have not helped us do, and in doing so they have intertwined their history with our own, giving them a much-revered place in our collective psyche.

Those who have owned or been around horses have known for time innumerable of their therapeutic value. The Ancient Greeks employed them to help people with incurable illnesses. Hippocrates discussed in his writing of the therapeutic value that was derived from riding them. In the 17th-century equine therapy or horse therapy, once again was examined in literature, as it was en vogue to use horses to help people with gout, neurological disorders, and depression. In the early 20th century equine therapy was visited yet again as it was employed in Scandinavia when an outbreak of polio devastated the region.

However, it was not until the 1960s that modern equine therapy, as we know it today, began to take shape in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The first modern equine therapists used the riding of horses as a supplemental treatment for traditional physical therapy. The horses were trained with specific commands and trained physical therapists would work in cooperation with a horse handler in order to have the horse perform certain movements. These movements aided in the correction of what physical ailments were being treated. The treatments were seen as a success and over time equine therapy became more widely accepted in the medical field, allowing for further research to be performed.

" The treatments were seen as a success and over time equine therapy became more widely accepted in the medical field "

The 1990s saw the introduction of equine-assisted psychotherapy into the broader equine-assisted therapy world. Before this time, people had experimented with the usage of horses in psychotherapy, but its effectiveness was not widely accepted as little to no reputable research was done until that time. Equine-assisted psychotherapy is different from other forms of equine-assisted therapies in that it does not necessarily involve the riding of the horse, but may only include the grooming, feeding, and caring for the horse, which in turn help the patient in social, cognitive, and behavioral ways.

This brings us to the present and the current world we live in, where people not only expect but require a diversity of treatment options. This is especially true within the drug treatment field, where years of trial and error, and research, have concluded in the fact that the most effective form of drug and alcohol treatment consists of individualized approaches that consider the multiplicity of peoples that are being cared for. Coupling this with the fact that it has become more and more clear that drug and alcohol abuse is usually but a symptom of some other pre-existing condition has lead to the implementation of therapeutic approaches that lay beyond the traditional talk therapy.

At Holistic Recovery Centers, we believe in offering every available means in order to help our patients overcome their addiction to drugs and alcohol and that is why we have decided to integrate an equine therapy program into our drug treatment curriculum.

What is Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy is the employment of horses within a therapeutic setting. As shown by the history the usage of the horse in treatment, it can be varied, ranging from hippotherapy, usage of the horse to help with physical ailments, to utilizing the horse for mental and behavioral health therapies. Regardless of what the horse is used for, research has shown that just spending time in their presences has a very therapeutic effect on people. In particular equine therapy has been shown to have a profound effect on at-risk youth, children and teens with autism, persons suffering from depression or anxiety, adults who have been in the prison system, and recovering addicts.

Why is Equine Therapy Utilized in Addiction Treatment?

Animal therapy, in general, has come to have an important place in therapeutic settings. The presence of animals has been shown to lower blood pressure, alleviate depression, and stimulate the brain. The process of interacting with and caring for animals has also been shown to increase self-esteem, giving those individuals doing the caring, a sense of purpose and competency in their ability to care for themselves.

For people who have experienced trauma, or who have been stuck in situations where they operated solely on their survival instincts, interacting and getting vulnerable with other people can be exceedingly difficult. Years of this type of stress leaves people in a position where they do not know how to interact with another human being because they are constantly in a state where they believe someone is out to get them. Working with animals, however, helps build trust, allowing those individuals to get vulnerable, which in time can eventually be translated to another human being. Once a person, who for years may have been shut off from emotion or anything resembling a healthy human interaction, begins to open up, their ability to feel empathy and compassion comes back, which allows for an increased effectiveness in other therapeutic settings.


Equine-assisted therapy isn’t widely available in a drug treatment setting, which gives us further pride in our ability to offer our clients at Holistic Recovery Centers the opportunity to participate in this unique therapy. Our programs focus on a totality of healing and not just the abstinence from substances. We believe that the body, mind, and spirit must all be healed in order for the recovering person to experience the complete benefits of sobriety, and anything that we can provide in order to help facilitate this will be done. Giving our patients the skills they need in order to succeed after they have graduated from one of our facilities is our main goal, and since spending time with, and caring for, animals can build self-esteem, improve communication skills, and increase compassion for the self and others, equine therapy has become a mainstay of our drug treatment program.

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Find Out More About Holistic Recovery Centers Equine Therapy Program

With the multitude of treatment options available today, there is no need for a drug addict or alcoholic to continue to suffer in silence. It can be a frightening experience to reach out and ask for help, but the result is a life worth living, a life remarkably better than the darkness that drugs and alcohol offered. At Holistic Recovery Centers, we have the right program for you to receive the help that you need in order to end the vicious cycle of addiction. So if you would like to learn more about our Equine Therapy Program, or would like to find out how Holistic Recovery Centers can help you, call 1-877-723-7117 today to speak with one of our trained professionals. They will provide you with a free, confidential consultation, and help guide you into the next phase of your life. Make the decision today and join the many millions who are already on the road to recovery.



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